I Read A Sonnet, And Told Him I Should Like To Read
"You can have a copy, of course," he exclaimed.
"Put it in your pocket and keep it." When I
Asked him if he
had any right to give one away he laughed and said that if any
one had thought the whole parcel worth twopence it would not
have been left behind. He was quite right; a cracked dinner
- plate or a saucepan with a hole in it or an earthenware
teapot with a broken spout would not have been left, but the
line was drawn at a book of sonnets by the late squire.
Nobody wanted it, and so without more qualms I put it in my
pocket, and have it before me now, opened at page 63, on which
appears, without a headline, the sonnet I first read, and
which I quote: -
How beautiful are birds, of God's sweet air
Free denizens; no ugly earthly spot
Their boundless happiness doth seem to blot.
The swallow, swiftly flying here and there,
Can it be true that dreary household care
Doth goad her to incessant flight?
If not How can it be that she doth cast her lot
Now there, now here, pursuing summer everywhere?
I sadly fear that shallow, tiny brain
Is not exempt from anxious cares and fears,
That mingled heritage of joy and pain
That for some reason everywhere appears;
And yet those birds, how beautiful they are!
Sure beauty is to happiness no bar.
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